Thursday, January 23, 2014

Thorough Thursday: These Broken Stars by Kaufman and Spooner (#1)

These Broken Stars by Kaufman and Spooner
Book 1 in a trilogy
5/5 stars
Forever Favorite

My feelings for this book are nearly impossible to discuss in a human-like way so I might just channel my wild animal side and just shriek for a few hours until you really know how I feel.

*insert flailing of arms and jumping and crying and a bit of drooling*

All right.  I'm done.  I'll be good.  I'll use the English language to the best of my ability to explain how much I love and adore this book.

I love this book so much that I wanted to read it again the second I put it down.
It's not often that I feel this's pretty rare, actually.  Even if I love a book, even if it's a favorite, I usually wait at least a year before a re-read.  But this one I am preparing to read again in the next few weeks, even though I read it a month ago.  It's just that wonderful.

The characters - let's talk about Tarver and Lilac.  In this tweet I told Kaufman and Spooner that I will name my firstborn son Tarver because I love him so much.  He is everything I love about YA boys...except he's a YA man.  a;sldkfjaslkdjf I cannot even with him anymore.  He's no older than most of the YA boys I read about, but he just had this air of maturity that is sooooo attractive to me.  He is manly and strong, but also has a vulnerable side.  He loves and cares deeply, and omigosh those few moments about half way through the book - all my peeps who have read it will remember those moments with the gun...those life or death moments when Tarver had to make a decision, every. single. night. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH MY HEART.

And Lilac.  She was AWESOME.  I wasn't sure what to think of her when the story opened - I just knew that I liked her in spite of her snobbishness.  I knew change was coming so I could just relax and enjoy her.  She made me laugh.  She surprised me.  She was a GREAT partner for Tarver.  They were two halves of a whole, they were so perfect.  Her growth was just amaaaazing.

I want to write poetry because of this book.  Sing songs, do interpretive dance, write epic novels, etc etc.  The story of this book swept me up.  From PAGE ONE I was huddled over, worried for the characters, wanting them to be safe - just because I knew danger was coming.  That's how much I cared.  And the story DID NOT DISAPPOINT.  I was RIVETED.  (Excuse all the caps. I can't seem to control my finger.)  Everything Tarver and Lilac went through had me on the edge of my seat.  And the romance.  Omigosh can I just say SAWOOOOON.  I couldn't even handle all my giggles and squeals and happy sighs and "JUST KISS ALREADY YOU IDIOTS" and OMIGOSH NOOOOO's and all the heartbreak and happiness that came from this book.

I know everyone else is saying this, but lemme say it, too:  I loooove how the romance is the main focus, but I also looooove how the world they live in is NOT underdeveloped.  I could see everything and I understood everything and just the entire thing was developed SO WELL.  The world-building wasn't untouched for the sake of the romance.  There was a great balance between the two that made my heart soooo happy.  I'm addicted to this world and cannot WAIT for book 2.  New characters, new setting, same awesome world, same awesome authors.  Does it get any better than this? Nope!

Oh, and the ship's name was Icarus.  Can we just revel in the perfection of that foreshadowing?  Kthxbai.

Now, you'll have to excuse me while I go pick up These Broken Stars again...

This book reminds me of...
Epic space travel
Best kisses ever
Painful shoes
Tragic loss
Beautiful dresses
Delicious men I'd like to marry

Summary -
It's a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone. 

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help. 

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.


A timeless love story, THESE BROKEN STARS sets into motion a sweeping science fiction series of companion novels. The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

End of 2013 Bookish Survey

Best YA book 2013

1. Best Book You Read In 2013?

I have to do this by genre because there's noooo way I'm going to pick just one book.
  1. Science Fiction/Romance - These Broken Stars by Kaufman and Spooner.  (Yes, I'm mixing these two genres, because this book really was the best in both genres.)
  2. Historical - The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.  (Excuse me while I go cry yet again for my poor broken soul that will never be the same again.)
  3. Dystopian - Allegiant by Veronica Roth.  (Requiem was a close shot...but Allegiant's sacrifice was more than I could ignore.)
  4. Mystery - The Sins of the Wolf by Anne Perry.  (Of course, because who else would I pick but the master of all mysteries?)
  5. Standalone/Contemporary - The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen and The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.  (I can do that because I listed two categories.  Mwahahaha!)
  6. Fantasy - Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Mass, the boss of all awesome.  ('Nuff said.)
  7. Adult Fiction - Wildflower Hill by Kimberley Freeman.  (WOOOOW this book blew me away.  The writing and the story...ach!  So romantic!)

2. Book You Were Excited About and Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

 Ummm ok so.  It has to be Out of Reach by Carrie Arcos.  I met Carrie and she was the SWEETEST lady and was so kind and interesting to talk to...but I just didn't like her book.  I felt pretty bad about it, too, especially since it was one of my most-excited-for reads of this year.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013? 

I think the most surprising book of 2013 would be The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey.  Up until I read it I had no idea if I'd like it or not.  Actually, even while reading it I was hesitant...and then the book exploded my mind with its fantastic story and characters.  Ben Parish is now officially one of my favorite book characters...ever.

 4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - there's something in it for everyone.  Literally everyone.

 5. Best series you discovered in 2013?

I'd say These Broken Stars (the Starbound trilogy) but they're all individual stories so I don't know if it counts.  Aside from that I'd say Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo.  I can't even with those books anymore.  Siege and Storm wrecked me.

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?

Michelle Hodkin deserves a shout out here.  I think she's my favorite of this year, as far as new authors go, because I was NOT expecting to like her books.  So when I picked them up and found that I was madly in love...I just yes.  I feel like she deserves more credit from me.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

Definitely The Orchard by Theresa Weir.  Annnnd....yeah.  I didn't like it.  There's a reason I stay away from memoirs - it's mainly because I don't like the style of how they're written, and for this one it was because it was just too fast and depressing.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?

These Broken Stars...again.  I'm telling you, you guys, this boooook.  It is perfect.

 9. Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

These Broken Stars.  Have you noticed the pattern yet?  The other would be Crown of Midnight...which I probably will once I read Throne of Glass again as well.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?

11. Most memorable character in 2013? 

There are a few, actually.  And all for different reasons.  Ben Parish from The 5th Wave, because of his narrative and the person he was and the jokes he told and the way he smiled.  Tris Prior from Allegiant, because I think we all know why.  Augustus Waters from The Fault in our Stars, because I still haven't said his name out loud since finishing this book and because he is Gus (period, end of story).  Hans Hubermann and Max Vandenburg from The Book Thief, because of so many reasons I cannot name.  Chaol from Crown of Midnight, because he is my true love and I discovered I love him as much as my own characters in my own books.  And last but not least, Taylor Barclay from Unbreakable, because of everything he did in this book that left my mouth open wide and how much I loved him in the end.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?

The Book Thief, because it was the most extraordinarily written book I've ever laid my hands on.  (Shatter Me comes in as a close 2nd.)  But yeah.  TBT changed the way I look at writing...completely.  Forever.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013? 

The Book Thief.  But The Fault in Our Stars and Allegiant are also a candidates.  I think between these three, you have my year summed up in one giant sobbing mess of a lake to drown yourself in.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read? 

Because I'm an idiot:  The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.  Applaud me for finally making the best decision of my life.

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?

 Oh man this is hard.  Ok.  Because all of these favorite books of mine this year...they have some of the greatest quotes ever written.  Shoot.  Ok, here goes:
Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.   -    The Fault in Our Stars
I've seen so many young men over the years who think they're running at other young men. They are not. They are running at me.   -   Death, The Book Thief
His soul sat up. It met me. Those kinds of souls always do - the best ones. The ones who rise up and say, "I know who you are and I am ready. Not that I want to go, of course, but I will come."   -   The Book Thief 

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

 Longest:  The Host by Stephanie Meyer  (619 pages)
Shortest:  That Summer by Sarah Dessen  (198 pages)

 17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It?

THAT MOMENT WHEN I FINISHED CROWN OF MIDNIGHT AND WANTED TO DIE.  My sister is finally reading it, months later, and I'm trying to contain myself and not ask her every single second of the day what page she's on.

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013.

Romance:  Tarver and Lilac in These Broken Stars.  The epic level of sacrificial love and passionate desire between them was almost too much for me to handle.  I seriously had to slow down and just...yeah.  I died a little.

Friendship:  Liesel and Rudy in The Book Thief.  as;dlkfjas;dklfj THOSE TWO OK.

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously.

  • Allegiant by Veronica Roth
  • Requiem by Lauren Oliver
  • Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

20. Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:
The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson.  It was literally the ONLY book I read based on a rec from someone else.  Every other book was just because I wanted to read it or for book club (which also means I wanted to read it) so.  Yeah.  TSiE got 3/5 stars from me.

21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?
I think it's a mix between science fiction and dystopian.  Everything's pretty evenly read but those two had the most.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?

Runner up would be Max Vandenburg from The Book Thief.  HOLLA

23. Best 2013 debut you read?

Can I mention it YET AGAIN?  These Broken Stars.  I know Spooner had written more than just this but for them together, it was a debut, so it counts. IT DOES.

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?

The Prey by Andrew Fukuda.  Just the way his world building the world he has created got under my skin and made me shiver with nervousness and anticipation and fear...

25. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?
This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith - ahhhh so much fun! I laughed and got misty-eyed and yeah.  It was so cute.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?

HA!  Need I even think about it?  I have a list, okay?  Okay.  (See what I did there?)
  1. The Book Thief - I have never cried so hard reading a book...ever.
  2. The Fault in Our Stars - Ummm from the car scene on I was a disaster.
  3. Allegiant - a;ldksjf;alskdjfl;kasjdf I was in my car sobbing my eyes out and feeling miserable and wondering how my life would go on from there.
  4. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight - A re-read to be sure, but an absolute favorite, top 5 in the whole world, and of course it makes me cry.
  5. Requiem - Der.

27. Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?

Vortex by Julie Cross... My question is:  WHY ARE PEOPLE NOT GOING GAGA OVER THIS SERIES?!?!??!  I mean, I'm sure there are people who won't love it, but the people who love sci-fi don't seem to be that excited about it and it drives me up the wall.  These are some of my favorite books and I just...a;lsdkfja;lksdjf Yes.  So much yes.


1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2013 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2014?

Breaking Point by Kristen Simmons.  I'm an idiot.  Why did I not read this the second it came in the mail ELEVEN MONTHS AGO?!

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2014 (non-debut)?

This Shattered World by Kaufman and Spooner because a;dlkfja;ldksjf MORE SPACE OPERAS.

3. 2014 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings - I love Lindsay's blog and am just soooo excited for awesomeness!

 4. Series Ending You Are Most Anticipating in 2014?

Evertrue by Brodi Ashton.  Kill me now.  Just kill me before Brodi breaks my heart any more.  Because that's all she's done and now I'm just crying because a;lsdkfja;lsdkjf Evertrue comes out in a month and I'm going to die.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2014?

Not make any plans.  I know right?  Weird.  But this year I was stressing so much about reading a certain amount of books and even blogging a certain number of posts each month.  I'm pledging to read more classics and just not worry about finishing certain books on time.  I don't want the pressure.  And if I'm halfway through the year and doing well and I want to make a goal, I'll go for it.  But I want to go at least 6 months with no pressure.  Just me, my books, and my blog.  Nothing to worry about or deadlines to meet.  I hope that this will help me to do more, to accomplish more, to be happier with everything.  It's going to be grand!